5 Factors That Influence a Tattoo Shop's Minimum

Ever wonder why a tatttoo shop has a shop minimum and why it sometimes seems high? Here are 5 reasons that go into prices


Cory Claussen

3/11/20242 min read

woman wearing black tank dress
woman wearing black tank dress

5 Reasons Tattoo Shops Have a Shop Minimum

So, you've finally decided to get that tattoo you've always wanted. You've done your research and found a few tattoo shops in your area. But as you start contacting them, you realize that the cost of getting a tattoo can vary greatly from one shop to another. Why is that? Well, several factors influence a tattoo shop's minimum tattoo cost. Let's take a closer look at five of these factors.

1. Covering Basic Costs

The shop minimum helps cover the basic operational costs associated with any tattoo procedure, regardless of its size or complexity. These costs include but are not limited to sterilization equipment, needles, inks, gloves, and other disposable materials used during the tattoo process. Even the smallest tattoo requires the artist to use a new set of these materials to maintain hygiene and safety standards.

2. Time Investment

A significant amount of an artist's time is invested in each tattoo, beginning from the moment a client walks into the shop. This includes consultation, design, stencil, setup, the actual tattooing process, and aftercare instructions. The shop minimum ensures that the artist is compensated for their time, even for very small tattoos, as each tattoo involves a considerable time commitment beyond the actual application of the tattoo.

3. Skill and Expertise

Tattoo artists invest years in honing their craft, including apprenticeships, ongoing education, and practice. The shop minimum recognizes the skill, expertise, and experience of the artist. It ensures that the artist is fairly compensated for their professional service, reflecting their level of expertise and the quality of work they provide.

4. Maintenance of Equipment

Tattoo shops invest in high-quality equipment to provide the best service to their clients. This includes tattoo machines, power supplies, workstations, and comfortable chairs for both the artist and client. A portion of the shop minimum goes towards the maintenance and eventual replacement of this equipment, ensuring that the shop maintains high standards of quality and safety.

5. Supporting the Business

Lastly, the shop minimum helps support the overall business of the tattoo shop, including rent, utilities, insurance, and other overhead costs. Tattoo shops are creative spaces but also businesses that need to sustain their operations. The shop minimum is a way to ensure that the business can continue to operate and provide a space for artists to work and clients to receive tattoos.

In conclusion, the shop minimum is a crucial part of the tattoo industry's pricing structure, ensuring that artists are compensated for their time, skills, and the use of materials, while also supporting the operational and business needs of the tattoo shop. Understanding these reasons can help clients appreciate the value of the work and the overall experience offered by tattoo professionals.


Tattooing is not just an art form but also a professional service that combines creativity, skill, and resources. When considering getting a tattoo, many potential clients are curious about pricing structures, particularly the concept of a shop minimum. This minimum fee is a common practice among tattoo shops, and there are several good reasons for its implementation.